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Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs PS fired
12:21 pm GMT+12, 05/08/2011, Fiji
Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs and External Trade permanent secretary, George Hiele has been removed from office, sources within the ministry say.

However, the Solomon Star newspaper reported the ministry has played down Hiele’s removal saying he was reshuffled to take up his new post in the Western Province as the provincial secretary.
Reasons behind his sacking are unknown but it is understood he vacated office Friday last week.

The Solomon Star understands Hiele was replaced by trade expert and former Solomon Islands ambassador to Brussels, Robert Sisilo.

Sisilo was a former foreign affairs secretary in Nauru as well as the former Pacific Islands Forum permanent representative at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva. It is understood the decision has not go down well with some top officials within the ministry.

The source said Hiele’s removal has shocked a lot of officers within the ministry because he is one of the longest serving and well-respected officers in the public service.

“The choice of appointing or reshuffling permanent secretaries is the prerogative of the prime minister and his ministers but we understand this is not the case,” the source said.

The Solomon Star could not get comments from the newly appointed Sisilo or the Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Shanel because they left for Port Moresby to attend a ministerial meeting yesterday.

Last month two female permanent secretaries, Jane Waitara and Mylyn Kuve were also replaced….PNS (ENDS)

SOURCE: SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS

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